door Diana Ozon
The lockdown meant that musicians suddenly no longer had any gigs to play. And at the same time many of the city’s (elderly) residents needed extra entertainment and cheering up. Musician Huibert Teekens came up with an initiative that would connect both groups: the 1.5-metre courtyard sessions. Local musicians played music in the courtyards for (elderly) residents who were able to listen from their balcony.
The 1.5-metre courtyard sessions made live music accessible to residents. It exposed hidden courtyards and gardens. It enabled residents to get to know their musical neighbours and provided musicians with a stage and a film. The final result is available online for everyone to see and listen to.
Initiator Huibert Teekens tells us: ‘The 1.5-metre courtyard sessions were created during the early days of lockdown. My diary as a musician was suddenly empty… no more gigs. That was a pity for me, but for professional musicians for whom performing is their livelihood, this was a complete disaster. Moreover, especially during times of uncertainty people need live music. I wanted to do something about this and this resulted in the 1.5-metre courtyard sessions. In a courtyard you can have corona proof gigs. I was trying to find funding and local musicians who could make acoustic music suitable to a courtyard setting. The sessions were professionally recorded and shared online. As a result, live music became accessible and hidden courtyards were being discovered. Residents in the Indische Buurt area got to know their musical neighbours. And musicians were provided with a stage and a film. Visit the YouTube channel 1.5 metre courtyard sessions for all six sessions! There are plans for a sequel…’
You can find Huibert’s initiative together with other wonderful initiatives on wijamsterdam.nl/initiatieven.
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